Hymn Fairest Lord Jesus

Notes on the Hymn Fairest Lord Jesus


This hymn is one of the loved songs among Christians on Sunday services. The words of "Fairest Lord Jesus" were written by Ger­man Je­su­its as Schön­ster Herr Je­su in the 17th Cen­tu­ry. It was pub­lished in the Mün­ster Ge­sang­buch, 1677, and trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Joseph A. Seiss, 1873.

Music: Cru­sad­er’s Hymn Si­le­sian folk song from Schles­ische Volks­lied­er, 1842; ar­ranged by Richard S. Willis, 1850


Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.


Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.


Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast. 


All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
 

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.

Some accounts say that "Fairest Lord Jesus" was called "Crusader's Hymn," while others say that it was named thus because it was sung by German Crusaders as they made their way to the Holy Land. The lyrics to this beloved hymn among English speaking Christians first appeared in 1677, where it was published as "first of three selected hymns."

The lyrics above are usually shown in most hymnals but Seiss’ orig­in­al trans­la­tion is dif­fer­ent which he titled “Beau­ti­ful Sav­ior”  found in Lu­ther­an hymn­als. I grew up with the lyrics written by Willis.


Beautiful Savior, King of Creation
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love Thee, truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Fair are the meadows, Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in the flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.


Fair is the sunshine, Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels in the sky.


Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine!


Resources:

Cyberhymnal
Various hymnals used in Protestant churches.

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